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Full text of "Esperanto as an international auxiliary language. Report of the general Secretariat of the League of nations adopted by the third Assembly, 1922"

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as an International 
Auxiliary Language 

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The League of Nations' Report on 
" Esperanto as an International Auxiliary Language. 

1. — The Report was unanimously adopted by the Third 
Assembly of the League, 1922. 

2. — In supporting it, Lord Robert Cecil said that he 
considered the Report a great success for Esperanto, and that 
he was in favour of Esperanto. 

3. — Esperanto is the most widely spoken artificial language 
(page 11). 

4. — Esperanto is a living language (page 11). 

5. — Esperanto possesses a library of about 4,000 printed 
works, translated and original (page 11). 

6. — Esperanto is taught in Primary and Secondary Schools 
in about 320 towns in 17 different Countries, and in Evening 
Classes in about 1,200 towns scattered through 39 Countries of 
the five Continents (page 14). 

7. — The Report by M. Andre Baudet to the Paris Chamber 
of Commerce (page 35) is a most convincing presentation by an 
independent expert of the case for Esperanto as a commercial 

8 — The Memorandum by the British Board of Education 

states some notable results from the teaching of Esperanto in 
English Schools. 

(a) The teachers say that the children speak better, write 
better composition, and are better able to follow the 
intricacies of English grammar (page 52). 

(b) Esperanto is grammar incarnate (page 52). 

(c) Esperanto has proved helpful in acquiring foreign 
languages (page 54). 

(d) There appears to be ample justification for allowing 
the experiments to go on, and for encouraging other 
experiments in the large towns, and especially in the 
large seaport towns (page 53). 

9. The Memorial by the International Conference of 

Teachers held in Geneva in April, 1922, states (page 56) : 

" With two lessons per week of one hour each the 
pupils should be able to obtain a sufficient mastery of 
Esperanto in one year, such as is not possible in any 
other language under similar circumstances under three 

Here is the case for Esperanto as presented to the highest 
International Tribunal in the world. By the publication of this 
Report the League of Nations has placed Esperanto in a 
commanding position as the International Auxiliary Language, 
and it is only a question of time before it is taught in all the 
Schools of the world. 

Educationists now have Esperanto before them as a fact to 
be reckoned with. British teachers should not be slow to 
acquaint their pupils with it, and to introduce it into their 

The British Esperanto Association (Incorp.), 17, Hart 
Street, London, W.C.I, will be glad to furnish information, 
and to supply Text-books, Dictionaries and Literature to those 


as an International 

Auxiliary Language 


Report of the General Secretariat 

of the League of Nations 
adopted by the Third Assembly, 1922. 


as an International 
Auxiliary Language 

SEPTEMBER 21st, 1922. 

Since its foundation, the League of Nations has constantly- 
received petitions in favour of the adoption of an auxiliary 
international language, and more particularly of Esperanto, 
which has spread to many countries and which is taught in 
some of the State schools in several countries. The Secretariat 
has examined these proposals with great interest ; they show 
that in scientific, commercial, philanthropic, tourist and, evea 
more, in working-class circles, there is a feeling that it is 
urgently necessary to escape from the linguistic complications 
which impede international relations and particularly direct 
relations between peoples. 

During the first two Assemblies, delegates from Brazil, Bel- 
gium, Chile, China, Colombia, Czechoslovakia, Haiti, Italy, 

50 6 1 

Japan, India, Persia, Poland, Roumania and South Africa 
brought forward resolutions suggesting that the League of 
Nations should recommend the universal teaching of Esperanto 
in schools as an auxiliary international language. 

The Second Committee of the First Assembly adopted the 
following conclusions : 

"The Committee agreed with the signatories in recognis- 
ing the serious linguistic difficulties which impede direct 
relations between the peoples, and in desiring that an 
international language should be taught in all the schools — 
a simple and easy language which the children would learn 
side by side with their mother-tongue, and which would 
serve the future generations as a practical means of inter- 
national communication. The Committee considered, 
however, that it would be desirable to begin by under- 
taking an enquiry on the basis of existing facts. The 
Committee was interested to learn that the World Congress 
ef International Associations which met at Brussels in 
September last had succeeded in securing the unanimity of 
the partisans of an international language for the teaching 
of Esperanto,, and that it had recommended to all those 
interested in the matter to concentrate on Esperanto in 
order to hasten a practical solution of the question. It has 
also learned from the representatives of Persia and of China 
to the League of Nations that a widespread popular move- 
ment is beginning to take shape in Asia with the same 
object in view, while several other States Members of the 
League, such as Brazil and Czechoslovakia, have already 
introduced the teaching of Esperanto in the Government 
schools. The same applies to various municipalities in 
England and Italy. 

"Finally, the Committee was informed that this auxiliary 
international language has been employed with success in 
several considerable universal congresses, where the speak- 
ers of all countries were able to understand each other 
easily, and where the debates were carried on throughout 
in one and the same language, all the speakers being placed 
©n a footing of most complete equality. 

"The Committee, however, thought that the Assembly 
should not undertake responsibilities beyond its compe- 
tence, and that it would be necessary to suppress a para- 
graph in the proposal which had been submitted to it and 
to change it into a simple Recommendation, indicating to 
the Secretariat the desirability of proceeding to an enquiry 
in order that the next Assembly might be informed as ta 
the results obtained in this respect. 

'•The following is the text of the Recommendation which 
the Committee proposes to submit to a majority vote : 

"The League of Nations, well aware of the language 
difficulties that prevent a direct intercourse between 
the peoples and of the urgent need of finding some 
practical means to remove this obstacle and help the 
good understanding of nations, 

"Follows with interest the experiments of official 
teaching of the international language Esperanto in 
the public schools of some Members of the League, and 

" Recommends to the Secretary-General to prepare, 
for the next Assembly, a report on the results reached 
in this respect." 

The First Assembly considered that it was premature to open 
a discussion on this subject, and it was the Second Assembly 
which 'took up these conclusions, instructed the Secretariat to 
undertake the suggested enquiry, and decided to put the ques- 
tion of the teaching of Esperanto in schools on the agenda of 
the Third Assembly. 

Txie conclusions of the Second Assembly were as follows : 

"The Committee is of opinion that this question, in which 
an ever-increasing number of States are interested, should 
be attentively studied before it can be dealt with by the 
Assembly. The question was referred to a Committee last 
year and a short report was submitted, recommending that 
the Secretariat of the League should investigate the experi- 
ments already made and ascertain the actual results 

"The Committee proposes that the question should be 
placed on the agenda of the next Assembly and that the 
Secretariat of the League should in the meantime prepare 
a complete report, accompanied by the necessary documen- 
tation, on the lines indicated in the draft resolution. 

i; ln accordance with the wishes of the signatories, the 
report of the Second Committee dated December 17th, 1920, 
and the report of the Under Secretary-General upon his mis- 
sion to the Congress at Prague, will be transmitted to the 
Members of the League in due course.'* 

(Resolution adopted on September i$th t 1921.) 

To carry out the work entrusted to it, the Secretariat sent 
questionnaires to all the States Members of the League of 
Nations and to the competent organisations, and also offered the 
use of its offices at Geneva for an International Conference on 
the Teaching of Esperanto in Schools, at which the Govern- 
ments of sixteen States were officially represented as well as 
municipal and school authorities and educational associations 
of 28 countries. This technical Conference, which was con- 
vened in a scientific and impartial spirit by the School of Edu- 
cational Science (Institut J. J. Rousseau at Geneva), has 
furnished the Secretariat with a great part of the information 
on teaching which has been collected. 

In addition to the replies to the questionnaires as to experi- 
ments that have been made and results obtained by teaching 
Esperanto in schools, the Secretariat has received a further 
number of documents and proposals concerning the general 
problem of an international language. Influential Scandinavian 
associations have proposed that English should be adopted as 
the world-wide auxiliary language. In certain American cir- 
cles a revival of Latin was suggested. We have also had 
schemes laid before us for new languages such as Occidental, 
Parlamento and Neo-Latina, and attempts to reform Esperanto, 
such as Ido and Esperantide. The Secretariat has sometimes 
been asked to set up a sort of linguistic tribunal to judge the 
respective merits of the languages proposed. These documents 
have been examined with the utmost care, and an endeavour 
has been made to collect information on all sides of the ques- 

The following remarks may be of some interest to the As- 
sembly ; it is obvious that the problem of an international lan- 
guage is both a practical and a linguistic one. It is not enough 
to decide on the best possible language (on the supposition that 
a universally accepted principle can be found). We must not 
only discover a language which is universally accepted as satis- 
fying certain requirements ; we must also see that it is adopted 
and taught. Experience, the prestige already acquired and the 
resources in books and teaching staff must be taken into 
account. The Governments cannot be asked to launch out on 
an entirely theoretical adventure. 

From this point of view, it is evident that some of the lan- 
guages proposed, such as English and Latin, have great advan- 
tages, but their drawbacks are obvious. French, which is an 
admirable literary language and which plays a leading part in 
diplomatic relations in Europe, has also claims to universality. 
These two diplomatic languages French and English will cer- 
tainly continue to play an important part in the intercourse 
between intellectual circles. Spanish, again, which is the offi- 
cial language of 22 States in Europe and America, is daily 

— 9 — 

Increasing in prestige. It would touch on too delicate a ques- 
tion to attempt to establish the supremacy of one national 
tongue over all others. 

Latin has at least the advantage of being a neutral language 
from a political if not from a religious point of view, but it is 
difficult to learn, and is therefore not very accessible to the 
masses ; its vocabulary, too, has long ceased to meet the needs 
of modern life. To restore its practical role as an international 
language, in which it was formerly so useful, it would be 
necessary arbitrarily to revise its vocabulary and to simplify 
its grammar \ Many admirers of the language of Cicero would 
prefer in that case that an artificial language should be chosen 
and classical Latin be left untouched. 

An artificial language lacks the prestige conferred by centuries 
of long historical and literary tradition, but at the same time 
the whole of its vocabulary can be borrowed from existing lan- 
guages and can benefit from that tradition. On the other hand, 
it may be infinitely easier to learn than a national language 
whose grammar is full of irregularities. In course of time it 
may become flexible and gradually acquire new words and 
phrases, particularly if talented writers and orators use it, but 
it can never be more than a secondary language, limited to 
exceptional relations between persons of different nations ; it 
will therefore be of a practical and conventional nature and 
could not compete with languages which have an historical 
tradition 2 . 

The progress of linguistic science has brought about a more 
or less uniform conception of what is required in an inter- 
national language. All the later systems devised since and 
Including Esperanto are very much alike and are based on the 
same principles : a vocabulary drawn from the elements 
common to the modern languages of Europe and America, a 
grammar reduced to a minimum, the Latin alphabet and sim- 
plified spelling. The differences between the later systems are 
so small that many, like Ido and Esperantide, are really only 
modifications of Esperanto 3 . 

1 Professor Peano has published a remarkable study of Latino sine 

2 Hindustani plays such a part as a practical auxiliary language in 

3 Here, for instance, is one sentence rendered in these different 
forms : 


« Por un horn ve-rmen civilisat, un filosof, o un jurist, li conossentie 
del latin es desirabil, ma un lingue internationa es util por li modern 
complication de un land al altri. » 

(Contii lie I ■ verlt 

- - 10 — 

It would be rash to deliver a judgment as to the actual impor- 
tance of these differences, which are relatively slight. They are 
explained by a simple difference in the point of view ; in some 
systems, like Occidental or Ido, great importance is attached to 
the effect produced by written texts on an inexperienced Wes- 
tern reader ; in others, like Esperanto, the aim is to attain the 
maximum of simplicity for all peoples, taking also into account 
the difficulties of Orientals. Esperantide and Occidental are 
more recent than Ido, which their authors criticised "for being 
a backward step rather than a progress upon Esperanto, the 
grammar of which it made more complicated". 

The difficulty is that, although linguists agree upon the main 
principles, they disagree — sometimes vehemently — upon 
details of application which appear to them perhaps more 
important in theory than they are in practice 1 . 

A study of the history of the proposed reforms such as Ido 
and Esperantide, which are in many points contradictory, leads 
to a fear that if a new committee of theorists met to-day, such 
as the committee which proposed Ido in 1907, it would propose 
further modifications which in their turn would be criticised at 
the end of a few years and so on indefinitely. It is to the 
interest of the world to have one auxiliary language, not two or 
three, and, from a practical point of view, there is 'less risk in. 
taking one of which some experience has been gained and 
which has already attained some tradition and a guarantee of 
lasting unity. 

An eminent body like the British Association of Sciences, 
after having examined different proposals and rejected Latin, 
came to the conclusion that Esperanto and Ido were both 
suitable (from a linguistic point of view) and that they were 


« Por homo vere civilizita, filozofo or yuristo, la kono de la latina 
lingvo estas dezirebla, sed internacia lingvo estas utila por moderna 
interkomunikado dey una lando al alia. » 


« Por homo vere civilizita. filozofo od yuristo, la konoc© dil Latina 
esas dezirinda, ma linguo internacioHa esas utila por la komunikado 
moderna de un lando al altra. » 


« Por homo vere civilizita, filozofo au juristo, la kono de la latiaa 
lingvo estas dezirebla, sed internacia lingvo estas utila por moderna inter- 
komunikado de lando al alia.s 

1 Fox example, it is not a vital matter to the world whether nouns 
form their plural in es, in on, in oy or in i as long as the commoi 
international vocabulary (mostly Anglo-Latin) is practically the same. 

— 11 - 

not prepared to choose between the two. Other organisations, 
such as the Paris Chamber of Commerce and the Finnish 
Parliament, found that Ido was an unnecessary complication 
arid pronounced definitely for Esperanto. The World Congress 
of International Associations, which met a Brussels in 1920, 
recommended all those who advocated an international lan- 
guage to concentrate on Esperanto 1 . 

It seems certain that there may be more than one suitable 
form of language and that it would be rash to claim that any 
individual one is incontestably superior to all the others on all 
points. This is often a question of the social or geographical 
point of view rather than of scientific judgment, and what seems 
a defect in the eyes of one is often an advantage in the eyes 
of another. 

The Secretariat has been instructed to study the question 
specially from a practical point of view, basing its enquiries 
on facts and more particularly on the teaching of Esperanto 
in schools. Esperanto is certainly the most widely spoken arti- 
ficial language in universal congresses and in gatherings of all 
kinds, in travelling, in international offices, and even in the 
theatre. This makes it a living language — a characteristic 
not possessed by any of the systems which are only written 
and not spoken. It has become possible to express feelings in it. 
After 35 years, the language has begun to attain a style. There 
are some writers and speakers who really use it with force and 
elegance. Its sonorous qualities remind one of the Romance 
languages of the South, due to the fact that the accent rests on 
the penultimate syllable and that the endings are vowels. 

From the point of view of material, Esperanto possesses a 
library of about 4,000 printed works, both translated and ori- 
ginal. There are reviews and publications of all kinds, text- 
books and dictionaries in almost all languages, and a staff of 
teachers in quite a large number of countries. What it still 
lacks is technical vocabularies for several important sciences. 
There already exist Esperanto vocabularies for chemistry, 
pharmaceutics, mechanics, navigation and botany, but there 
are not any for electricity, physics and geology. The Esperanto 
Academy should have these vocabularies prepared at once. 
The lack of financial resources seems to have been the chief 
cause of this delay. 

In the spoken language, Esperanto has hitherto been very 
chary of creating new words because it was feared that it might 
become complicated, but the authors are gradually adding to 

1 The French and Italian Associations of Sciences pronounced f©r 


the vocabulary, and the Academy is registering roots which 
come into general use. All the work undertaken, even outside 
Esperanto and even by its critics, could perhaps be used for 
the further development of the language. Work like that of 
Peano (international vocabulary), de Saussure (Esperantide) 
and L. de Beaufront (Ido) can render great assistance to the 
Esperanto Academy from the point of view of its future dic- 


Esperanto in Public Education 

Dr. Zamenhof (whose pseudonym was Dr. Esperanto), 
published his first text-books in Warsaw in 1887. He was born 
in 1859 and died in 1917. He* strove throughout his life to 
accomplish a dream of his childhood : to reconcile the nations 
by enabling them to understand one another. Language for 
him was not an end in itself but an instrument of human 

When taking part in the Thirteenth Universal Esperanto 
Congress at Prague, where 2,500 representatives from all coun- 
tries in the world were gathered together, the Under-Secretary- 
General of the League of Nations was struck by the high aims 
and the spirit of enthusiasm for international co-operation 
which animated the assembly. He pointed out in his report 
that the development of the language and its vitality owe 
much to the powerful spiritual impetus given to the movement 
and to Esperanto literature by Dr. Zamenhof. It is in the 
countries of Eastern and Northern Europe that the language 
found its first thousands of students, who banded themselves 
together under the aegis of the Review "Lingvo Internacia" 
founded at Upsala in Sweden. 

Since the universal exhibition in Paris in 1900, the movement 
made rapid progress in France, where it received a warm wel- 
come in the university world. From that time onwards, it was 
France who worked to make Esperanto known abroad and wh« 
aroused the interest of foreign official institutions. 

The principal leaders of the Esperanto movement before the 
war were almost all French university men. The rector of a 
French university was President of the Esperanto Academy, 
and a member of the Institut de France was at the head, of the 
Congress Committee. 

In 1905, the Government of the French Republic awarded the 

— 14 — . 

Legion of Honour to Dr. Zanienhof, and the first Universal 
Esperanto Congress was held in France. The Tenth Congress 
was to take place at Paris on August ist, 1914, and 4,000 repre- 
sentatives were to take part in it. The war put a stop to this 

The world disaster, however, which brought whole nations 
face to face, made more tragically evident the need for an inter- 
national language in the work of the Red Cross, relief work 
among the wounded, the prison camps and the intercourse bet- 
ween allied armies. The French Under-Secretary of State for 
the Army Medical Service made arrangements, in an official 
circular dated May 20th, 1916, for the distribution of Esperanto 
Red Cross manuals to the staff of the Army Medical Corps. In 
the great internment camps in Siberia, thousands of men of all 
nationalities learned Esperanto in order to get acquainted with 
each other and with their Japanese guards. Facts such as 
these induced the Tenth International Red Cross Conference, 
which was convened after the war, to recommend the general 
study of Esperanto "as one «of the most powerful means of 
obtaining international understanding and co-operation in the 
realisation of the humane ideal of the Red Cross". 

Before the war, Esperanto was chiefly taught to adults by 
private associations or in evening courses. 1,574 associations 
were registered in 24 countries. At the same time, optional 
instruction in the international language had been inaugurated 
in the primary schools of Lille and at the Lycee de St.-Omer, 
in France. In 1916, the educational authorities of Eccles, near 
Manchester, in England, with the consent of the Ministry of 
Education., organised in one of their schools the first, experi- 
ment in the compulsory teaching of Esperanto. 

It was seen that the maximum utility hoped for would only 
be realised when the international language was taught as a 
second language to all school-children throughout the world. 
The example given was soon followed by other municipalities in 
England and by the Ministries of other States. 

To-day, Esperanto is taught in certain of the primary or 
secondary shools of about 320 towns in 17 different countries, 
and in evening classes in about 1,200 towns scattered throughout 
39 countries of the five continents. The following are the coun- 
tries in which an official decision has been taken by the State 
or by important local authorities. 

In Albania, the Cabinet has just decided to make Esperanto 
a compulsory subject in secondary and higher education (Decree 
N° 475." June 3rd, 1922). 

In Bulgaria, Parliament, has placed it on the curriculum by 

15 — 

legal enactment (Article 143 of the Education Act passed in 
1921). The teaching of it as an optional subject began in 1921- 
1922, in 25 secondary vState schools. The official reports men- 
tion 30 classes, 25 teachers, and 784 pupils of both sexes. Espe- 
ranto is taught in training courses for secondary school teachers, 
in the Sofia Military School, in the Home for the Blind of Sofia 
and in public evening classes in 19 towns. The Bulgarian 
Esperanto Association has branches in 25 towns and the League 
of Youth in six districts. The movement is under the patro- 
nage of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Red Cross, 
the Society of Literary Men, the Associations of Tourists, the 
Teachers Society and a certain number of the Professors of Sofia 
University. Thirteen Esperanto text-books and four diction- 
aries have been published in Bulgarian, and 45,000 copies of these 
books have been sold. 

The Government subsidised the Fourth National Esperanto 
Congress, which was held under the patronage of the Ministry 
of Education. Esperanto has been used in the organisation of 
numerous gatherings and meetings between Bulgarian, Serbian 
and Roumanian Associations. It was in Esperanto that a 
representative of the Chamber of Commerce of Los Angeles, 
M. Parish, lectured in Bulgarian towns on California. 

In Brazil, where several ministries have encouraged the 
spread of Esperanto, that language has been taught since 1910 
as an optional subject in primary and secondary schools of Rio 
de Janeiro. The Act of October 31st, 1918, introduced it into 
the training college and into the secondary schools of the State 
of Sergipe, and the Decree of January nth, 1919, introduced it 
into the primary and technical schools and training colleges 
within the Federal District. 

In October 192 1, the Esperanto League of Brazil was recog- 
nised as being of public utility by the two Houses of the Fed- 
eral Parliament. A Ministerial Decree of March 10th, 1915, 
recognises Esperanto in the telegraphic service, and a ministerial 
circular of February 4th, 1922, orders all the post-office directors 
to send in the names of officials knowing Esperanto. We have 
received at the Secretariat of the League of Nations a petition 
in support of Esperanto signed by 225 eminent representatives 
of Brazil — a former President of the Republic, Ministers, Sena- 
tors, Members of the Federal Parliament, members of literary, 
scientific and medical academies, heads of faculties, university 
professors, the Director of the Polytechnic School, the Presi- 
dents of the Geographical and Medical Societies and of the 
Federation of Chambers of Commerce, well-known authors and 
literary men. 

In Belgium, where the King was the patron of the Tenth 

— 16 — 

Universal Esperanto Congress in 191 1 and where the heir to the 
throne is the Patron of the Esperanto League, that language 
has been introduced into the fourth division of the primary 
schools of Verviers by decision of the Municipal Council. The 
Municipality of St.-Gilles, Brussels, has taught it officially 
since 1911 by means of an annual course open to pupils over 
16 years of age. The municipality of Antwerp teaches it in its 
continuation classes since 1921. 

In China, a Ministerial Decree dated 1911 introduced Espe- 
ranto into the curriculum of the training colleges. The national 
Educational Conference in 195 1 recommended a wider applica- 
tion of the decree and the introduction of Esperanto in all 
secondary schools. Esperanto is also taught at Peking Univer- 
sity and in the technical schools of Hankow, Canton, Peking. 
Shanghai, Hangchow. The Ministry of Education sent an offi- 
cial delegate to the International Conference at Geneva on 
Esperanto in Schools. 

In Spain, the sovereign, H. M. King Alfonso, takes a personal 
interest in the development of Esperanto. In 1909, the Spanish 
Government sent an invitation through diplomatic channels to 
all European States to send official representatives to the Sixth 
Universal Conference at Barcelona, and the King conferred upon 
Dr. Zamenhof the honour of Commander of the Order of Isa- 
bella. A Ministerial Decree of July 27th, 1911, recognised Espe- 
ranto as an optional subject in higher and secondary instruction 
and the knowledge of Esperanto as a special merit for candidates 
to official posts. It has been taught in the training colleges at 
Madrid, Zaragossa, and Huesca since 1919. 

In Madrid, the Police Authorities have Esperanto taught in 
the Police School, as is done in Brunswick, Dresden, Edin- 
burgh and Lisbon, where the police sergeants are trained to help 
foreigners in the streets. Courses are given by associations and 
popular universities in 3r towns, and the language is taught as 
an optional subject in Valencia at the School of Music, the Arts 
and Crafts School and the University (Institute de Idiomas), in 
Barcelona at the University, in two secondary schools and in 
religious schools. 

Several reviews are published in Esperanto in Spain, and the 
King gave his patronage to the Second 'Iberian Esperanto 
Congress, held at Zaragossa in 1921. In the same year the 
Spanish Esperantists entertained in several towns parties of 
starving Austrian children who had learned Esperanto for the 
journey and who were .distributed among different families. 
Thirty-six Esperanto text-books and nine dictionaries have been 
published in Spanish and five textbooks and two dictionaries 
in Catalan. 

— 17 — 

In Finland, two long debates were held in Parliament on the 
question of an international language. Credits have twice 
been voted for promoting the public teaching of Esperanto in 
Finland. A proposal also to subsidise Ido was rejected on the 
ground that unity and not divergence was to be encouraged in 
this matter. 

The Ministerial Decree of 1919 authorises the optional teach- 
ing of Esperanto in schools where the authorities may desire 
it. Instruction in Esperanto has been introduced into four 
primary schools, nine secondary schools and two commercial 
schools at Helsingfors, Tampere, Rauma, Mikkeli, Turku, etc. 
A course is given at Helsingfors University for the training of 
teachers. Esperanto is also taught at the Home for the Blind, 
in several Evangelical schools, in the continuation classes of six 
towns and in the workers' university in 15 districts. There are 
36 local societies for the study of Esperanto, ten of which are 
subsidised by the Government. Ten text-books and four 
dictionaries have been published in Finnish (107,000 copies). 

The Finnish Ministry of Education was represented at the 
Geneva Conference. 

In France, according to a circular dated June 3rd, 1922, the 
teaching of Esperanto is not allowed in schools under the 
Ministry of Education. A bill w T as laid before the Chamber in 
1907 by 66 deputies, but it has not 3'et been discussed. A 
petition was presented in 192 1 by 25 members of the French 
Academy of Science asking that Esperanto should be taught in 
technical schools. The Paris Chamber of Commerce appointed 
a Committee in 1920 to examine the problem and unanimously 
adopted its conclusions on February 9th, 192 1 (See Annex 2). 

As a result, Esperanto has been taught since 1921-22 at the 
High School of Practical Commerce and Industry and in the 
commercial schools at Paris, and will be taught from 1922-23 
onwards at the "Ecole des Hautes etudes comme resales". Asso- 
ciation courses are held in 55 towns, and eight Esperanto 
dictionaries and 38 text-books have been published in French, 
of which the four most widely known have been printed to the 
extent of 450,000, 89,000, 40,000 and 25,000 copies respectively. 

The Esperanto movement has received encouragement from 
the French Touring Club, the French Society for the Advan- 
cement of Science, the French Maritime League and numerous 
Chambers of Commerce; it has been supported by writers such 
as Tristan Bernard, Francois Coppee, Leon Frapie, Victor Mar- 
gueritte, Georges Ohnet; by statesmen such as Chaumet, Des- 
champs, Justin Godard, Sembat, Steeg (former Ministers), 
Herriot, Mayor of Lj^ons, Painleve (former Prime Minister); 
by 25 Members of the Academy of Science, such as Professor 

— 18 - 

d'Arsonval, Prince Roland Bonaparte, General Bourgeois, the 
Prince of Monaco, Professor Charles Richet, Dr. Roux, General 
Sebert and by well-known aviators and business men such as 
Farman, (Juinton, Archdeacon, Michelin, etc. The important 
part played by Fiance in the progress of Esperanto and two 
instances of official support in 1905 and 1916 have already been 
mentioned on page 5. 

In Great Britain, where the Thirteenth National Esperanto 
Congress was held under the patronage of the Duke of Con- 
naught and the Lord Mayor of London, Esperanto is taught as 
a compulsory subject in 13 primary schools at Barry, Bed worth. 
Coatbridge, Eccles, Huddersfield, Keighley, Leeds, Leigh, 
Liverpool, Rosyth, Stroud, Tottenham and Worcester and in 
four secondary schools of Bishop Auckland, Bournemouth, 
Burntisland and Kilsyth, and as an optional subject in the 
continuation courses in 20 towns. There are unofficial evening 
classes in schools in 100 towns. Esperanto is also taught in the 
labour colleges in Manchester, Edinburgh and Glasgow and in 
the Home for the Blind in Birmingham and Edinburgh. 

The London Chamber of Commerce holds examinations and 
grants diplomas in Esperanto. 

According to the very full report which the British Minister 
of Education has furnished to the Secretariat of the League of 
Nations, authority to introduce Esperanto into the curriculum 
as an experiment was asked for by a few municipal education 
authorities, and this was granted. 

The Commission on Modern Languages appointed by the 
Prime Minister in 1918 emphasised the advantages of an arti- 
ficial international language, the stability of which might be 
secured by an international agreement. The teaching of Espe- 
ranto in the secondary school at Bishop Auckland, which is a 
school subsidised by the Ministry of Education, was authorized 
by the Ministry as an experiment in training for the study of 
foreign languages. 

Twenty-seven Esperanto text-books and eight dictionaries 
have been published in English, and 661,000 copies have been 
sold. There have appeared in Great Britain 124 works in Espe- 
ranto, including six original novels, the New Testament, the 
Bible, a Psalter, and 40 translations of English works. The 
number of adults who have learned Esperanto is estimated 
at 50,000. 

A petition to the League of Nations was signed hy 1,250 
persons of eminence, members of both Houses of Parliament, 
lords and ladies, judges, lord mayors, lord provosts, mayors, 
university professors, etc. Esperanto has received public 


encouragement in England from such men as Lord Bryce, Sir 
William Ramsay, Lord Robert Cecil, Sir Robert Baden-Powel, 
Sir William Maxwell, Lord Shaw of Dunfermline, Arthur Hen- 
derson, H. G. Wells, Israel Zangwill, etc. 

In Italy , Esperanto is taught optionally in six naval colleges 
as the result of a circular from the Naval Ministry dated 
November 21st, 192 1. 

The Municipalities of Milan, Bologna, and Cremona have 
introduced it as an optional subject in their primary schools 
and the Municipality of Cologna-Veneta in its technical school. 

At Milan, the teaching of Esperanto began in 1920, and the 
Municipal Council has definitely decided to maintain it, since 
two-thirds of the parents desire to have their children taughi 
that language. There were in 1921-1922, 54 classes with 2,000 
pupils in the fifth and sixth divisions (10 to 12 years of age) 

At Bologna, in 1921-1922, teaching began in -four classes with 
200 pupils, and at Cremona in the same year in 10 classes with 
225 pupils of the same age as at Milan. 

In evening classes and popular universities in Italy there 
have been 350 courses of Esperanto during the winter 192 1- 
1922. Eighteen Esperanto text-books and five dictionaries 
have been published in Italian, and 13,697 persons have learned 
Esperanto in public classes. It is estimated that there are only 
300 qualified professors and teachers, whereas at least 1,000 
would be required to meet present needs. The Ministries of 
the Navy and of Education were represented at the Geneva 
Conference. The question was raised in Parliament on June 
3rd, and On. de Giovani asked the Government to promote an 
international conference or agreement to introduce Esperanto 
as a compulsory subject in schools everywhere. 

In Japan, two petitions signed by eminent university 
professors and diplomatists recommending the introduction of 
Esperanto in the educational curriculum have been considered 
by Parliament, which granted the second petition and 
recommended the Ministry of Public Instruction to take the 
necessary measures to that effect. 

Up to now, Esperanto has been taught in the college of 
Seikei near Tokyo, at the high school for teachers at 
Hiroshama, at the High School of Yokosuka; and in association 
courses in about forty towns. There are groups of Esperant© 
students in six national colleges, two public middle-schools, 
two higher commercial schools, one elementary commercial 
school, two technical schools, four government universities, 
eleven private universities and three private middle-schools. 

— 20 — 

Among well-known Esperantists may be mentioned Mr. Kroita, 
Professor of Literature at the Imperial University in Tokyo, 
and Mr. Nakamoura, Director of the Central Meteorological 
Observatory. Baron Goto, Mayor of Tokyo and former Minister 
for Foreign Affairs, is a patron of the movement. 

The Finnish Minister in Japan, M. Ramstedt, uses Esperanto 
to lecture on his country in the principal towns of the Empire. 
Several reviews are published in Esperanto in Japan, and five 
Esperanto text-books and two dictionaries have appeared in 

In the Netherlands, the new Education Act authorises the 
optional teaching of supplementary subjects. By virtue of this 
enactment, Esperanto is taught in a seventh class of the pri- 
mary schools at Haarlem, in a sixth at De Ryp and in a seventh 
at Ootmarsum. If is also taught at the Home for the Blind at 
Grave, and in 32 private schools in the southern provinces, 
sometimes as a compulsory subject. The majority of these 
schools are Catholic boarding schools. 

The Municipality of The Hague provides for instruction in 
Esperanto in its evening classes, as also the Popular Univer- 
sities at Amsterdam and Rotterdam. Courses are held at com- 
mercial associations or institutes in ninety-five towns, and 
the Dutch Esperanto Association has awarded diplomas to 
118 teachers. The representative of the Netherlands Ministry 
of Education at the Conference on Esperanto in Schools stated 
that the number of qualified teachers was 250. 

The Postal and Telegraph Department allows a notice to be 
placed on the counters, at which there is a clerk who can speak 
Esperanto, and the Tramway Company at The Hague grants a 
bonus to those of its employees who learn that language. 
Twenty-nine' Esperanto text-books and five dictionaries have 
been issued in Dutch by different publishers. 

In Portugal, the very interesting report forwarded to us by 
the Government of that Republic shows that the Ministry of 
Education, on the recommendation of the Director-General of 
Higher Education, has established an official Esperanto exami- 
nation committee. Since 1917, the Ministries of War and Navy 
authorise candidates who have obtained the Esperanto diploma 
to wear a special badge on their uniform. A ministerial decree 
has introduced the teaching of Esperanto in the Ferreira-Borges 
School and in the Police School at Lisbon. 

Esperanto was recognised as the official language at the 
Lisbon Exhibition side by side with the national language, 
and it is taught at the Commercial Athenaeum, at the Free 

— 21 — 

University, at the Association of Primary School Teachers, at 
the Geographical Society and in almost all workers' clubs in 

The Government report states that pupils learn the language 
very quickly, and are generally able to read, write and speak 
it sufficiently well to make themselves understood after twenty- 
four lessons. 

Eleven Esperanto text-books and four dictionaries have been 
published in Portuguese. 

hi Switzerland, no central educational authority exists; every 
Canton is autonomous in this respect. In 1921-1922, the Board 
of Education in the Republic and Canton of Geneva introduced 
compulsory instruction in Esperanto as an experiment in the 
final-year of the primary schools. There are thirteen classes 
with four hundred pupils of both sexes (from thirteen to 
fourteen 3-ears of age). 

Esperanto is taught in a social school for women at Geneva, 
in a seminary at Zug, in a private school at Zurich, in a college 
at Schwytz, and in evening classes held by commercial and 
other associations in nineteen towns. 

In Czechoslovakia, a Ministerial Decree of March 29th, 1921, 
authorises the optional teaching of Esperanto in the schools 
where qualified teachers exist. Ihe local educational autho- 
rities have received orders to make suggestions j submitting at 
the same time details of the proposed curriculum and of the 
qualifications of the teaching staff available. In 1919, 1920, and 
192 1, instruction in Esperanto -had already been given in fifteen 
primary schools to 450 pupils, in three secondary schools to 
325 pupils, and in a professional school to 40 pupils. The 
Ministry has approved two official text-books in Czech and in 
German, and it has appointed three examiners (two Czech- 
speaking and one German-speaking). Fifteen other Esperanto 
text-books and six dictionaries have been published in the 
Czech language. The curriculum of the commercial schools 
which appeared in the Ministerial Bulletin of May 15th, 1921, 
includes two hours of Esperanto a week. As an experiment, 
the Ministry also authorised on September 15th, 192 1, the 
optional teaching of Ido in the commercial schools "if a 
qualified teacher was available and if the pupils preferred to 
learn that language", but no names were entered and 
consequently no course was held except at Horice in one school. 
Esperanto is now taught officially in the commercial schools of 
Brunn, Beroun, Horice, Libelee, Pilsen and Zatec, the number 
of students in each class varying from 21 to 54. 

— 22 — 

Iu Czechoslovakia, Esperanto is very widely used. ^ There 
are Esperanto groups in all the towns and even in the villages. 
The Universal Congress at Prague was held under the patronage 
of the Government, and Dr. Benes declared, in an official 
message, that the Government regarded Esperanto a- an 
important factor in civilisation and in the pacification of the 
world. The Ministry of Education was represented at the 
Geneva Conference. The Postmaster-General had a list drafted 
of all officials knowing Esperanto, and the Board of State 
Railways grants them advantages. Eight periodical gazettes 
are published in Esperanto in Czechoslovakia. 

Apart from the States Members of the League of Nations at 
the date of this report, there are other countries where 
Esperanto is officially taught. 

In Germany, the Ministries of Education iu the states of 
Brunswick, Hesse and Saxony have taken decisions in support 
of Esperanto. In 1920-1921, it was introduced by the municipal 
authorities as a compulsory subject in the primary schools of 
five towns, and as an optional subject in the primary schools 
of thirty-nine towns, in the secondary schools of nine towns, 
in the technical and commercial schools of thirteen towns, and 
in the continuation courses in forty-four towns. In 1922, it 
was introduced in the State schools of fifty-two new districts, 
i.e., in 162 towns in all including Breslau, Chemnitz, Dresden, 
Leipzig, and Nuremberg. It is taught in the Homes for the 
Blind in three towns. 

The German Ministry of the Interior has given official 
recognition to the National Esperanto Institute at Leipzig for 
training the teaching staff. State examiners have been 
appointed in eighteen towns, and the number of teachers of 
Esperanto in Germany is 630. 

According to the official report forwarded to us by the repre- 
sentative of the Ministry of the Interior at the Geneva Confe- 
rence, courses in Esperanto for adults are held in 211 towns, 
and there are 279 Esperanto groups, ninety of' which are 
workers' groups. 

During the winter 1921-1922, 1,592 courses were held in 
Germany, attended by 40,256 adults, of whom 20,456 w T ere 

The number of persons who have learned the language up to 
1922 is estimated at 120,000. Forty-nine Esperanto text-books 

— 23 

and eighteen dictionaries have been published in German. 
Rather more than 600,000 copies of the text-books have been 

In Hungary, a Ministerial Decree of October 13th, 1920, autho- 
rises the optional teaching of Esperanto in the secondary 
schools. Two courses for teachers have been held at Budapest 

The Municipality of Budape# has authorised six public 
courses in the educational establishments of the capital 
There are sixteen Esperanto groups in Budapest and its suburbs 
and twenty-five in the provinces. The number of persons who 
have learned the language is estimated at 50,000. Twenty-two 
Esperanto text-books and six dictionaries have appeared in 
Hungarian. Forty-three works have been published in Espe- 
ranto in Hungary, twenty-one of which were translations of the 
classics of Hungarian literature and an anthology of Croat wri- 
ters. The poet Kalocsay has published original works in Espe- 
ranto. Esperanto is taught to police sergeants, postmen, and 
blind students of the Home for the Blind in Budapest. The 
State has printed Esperanto text-books for the blind in braille 
at its own cost. Since 1918, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs 
has published several booklets in Esperanto, including a work 
on the "Economic Unit}- of Hungary", in order to make the 
situation of the country known abroad. An appeal published 
in the foreign Esperantist press resulted in the receipt of 
100,000 crowns for the starving children in Budapest. 

In a discussion between the Hungarian and Czechoslovak 
Academies of Sciences, Esperanto was used as the language for 
official correspondence. The question of Esperanto in relation 
to e lucational reform was raised in Parliament by the Prelate 
Giesswein, leader of the Social Christian Part)-. 

In Russia, the People's Commissariat for Education appointed 
a commission in January 191Q to examine the question of tea- 
ching an international language in the schools. The commis- 
sion, after examining Esperanto and Ido, decided in favour of 
Esperanto and of its introduction in the educational curri- 
culum. II would appear that political circumstances have since 
then delayed the putting into force of this decision. Some 
Esperanto courses have been held at Moscow, Petrograd, and 
several towns, but it is difficult to obtain exact information on 
this matter. 

Before the war, the number of Esperantists in Russia was 
le. It was estimated at 80,000. At Saratow, the pri- 
vate library of an Esperantist containing four thousand volumes 

24 — 

has been nationalised ; three State officials are entrusted with 
its maintenance. 

Thirty-two Esperanto text-books and ten dictionaries have 
appeared in Russian. Translations have been published in 
Esperanto of the chief works of Tchekow, Garschm, Gogol, 
Gorki, Krilow. Lerrnontov, Pushkin, Tolstoy, Turguenev, and 
original works of the poets Dewjatnin, George Deshkm and 
Romano Frenkell. In the Siberian Republic, at Tchita, an art 
review is published in Esperanto. 

In Siberia, on the recommendation of twenty-eight members 
of Parliament, a member of the Government, several writers 
and scholars, and the President of the Union of Transbaikalian 
Teachers, the Government of the Republic of the Far East 
decided to introduce the optional teaching of Esperanto in the 
schools, and with that object in view, sent a circular, dated 
February 17th, 1922, to all the local Commissariats of Public 
Education and to the Central Educational Administration of the 
Transport Ministry. 

In 1910, the Government of Samos, in the .Egean, introduced 
the teaching of Esperanto in the primary schools of the island 
by a Decree dated November 20th, 1910. The Senate of the 
State of Maryland in the United States introduced this subject 
into the educational curriculum. In the same year, at the Sixth 
Universal Esperanto Congress at Washington, presided over by 
Mr. John Barrett, Director of the International Bureau of the 
American Republics, the Governments of Brazil, Equador, 
United States, Guatemala, China, Spain, Honduras, Costa Rica, 
Mexico, Persia, Russia and Uruguay sent official representa- 

Since 1918, the New York Chamber of Commerce has taught 
Esperanto in its courses. 

Results of Teaching. 


The Secretariat lias received most interesting reports from 
various Ministries of Education with regard to the results 
obtained by teaching Esperanto in schools. An important 
memorandum has been supplied by the British Board of Edu- 
cation, which replied to the questionnaire by sending two 
reports prepared especially and independently of one another 
by two school inspectors of His Majesty's Government. 

On account of the difficulty in reproducing accurately the 
general tenour of the British memorandum and reports by 
means of extracts, these documents have been printed in full 
as an annex to this report and will repay careful examination. 
(See Annex 3.) 

The reports that we have received from other ministries of 
public education confirm and emphasise most of the remarks 
made in the documents mentioned above \ Several of these 
reports insist upon the great moral influence exercised on the 
children by correspondence with school-children of other coun- 
tries and by the use of Esperanto, which develops their interest 
in foreign nations, their taste for geography and history, and 
often even a spirit of international service and of huinan solida- 
rity, regarding which remarkable examples have been commu- 
nicated to us. Many teachers make use of the Esperanto 

1 The reply of the Government of Latvia to the Secretariat states : 
"By the study of Esperanto, the pupils learn the construction of Indo- 
European languages. Being a logical language, Esperanto helps, even 
more than Latin, to develop logical thought. Two lessons per week 
for one term of six months are necessary to give the pupils a working 
knowledge of Esperanto and enable them to use it. It was observed 
that the study of Esperanto helped to leara German, French and 


— 2G — 

lesson to make the children interested in the League of Nations 
and its great ideal of universal peace and co-operation. 

At the International Conference of Experts which met at the 
Secretariat, the reports of Scottish and Italian school authorities 
pointed out that the vast majority of poor children could not 
hope to study foreign languages and that it gave them pleasure 
and a feeling of pride to be able at least to write and to speak 
Esperanto, which gave them a wider outlook on the world. 
In the elementary schools in Milan, the children were made to 
read anthologies of the fables and legends of different peoples. 
In Czechoslovakia, school-children exchanged drawings, 
stamps, descriptions and maps with children in other countries. 
They explained the spelling of their mother-tongue to each 
other. (For the memorial from International Conference, see 
Annex 4.) 

The Oriental delegates pointed out that Esperanto provided 
the pupils in their countries with a simplified type of European 
language which gave them a key to understanding the others. 
A young Chinese could learn Esperanto in two years, while he 
needed six to learn English and still longer to learn French. 
Students sent to the Franco-Chinese Institute at Lyons, 
knowing nothing but Esperanto, very quickly learnt French 

In most cases it has been found advantageous to have Espe- 
ranto taught in the last years of the elementary schools as a 
first, foreign language ; pupils who are unable to continue then- 
studies are at least in possession of a second language which 
may be of practical use to them. Those who are able to pass 
on to the secondary schools have had in its study an opportu- 
nity of estimating their capacity for languages. Those who 
have a gift for languages can go forward with their minds 
better prepared. Those who have not can give their time to 
other studies better suited to them. Time is gained in both 
cases. These are the conclusions arrived at by the Technical 
International Conference of Educational Authorities. 

In regard to adults, the Ministerial Reports received state 
that in Slav, Germanic and Latin countries, the public courses 
in Esperanto generally consist of from 20 to 30 lessons ; in Far- 
Eastern countries of from 50 to 60 lessons. In Germany and 
in Spain, where there are many Trade Union courses, manual 
labourers, knowing only their mother- tongue, manage to speak 
Esperanto at the end of a winter's course, working two evenings 
a week. Of course, everything depends on the keenness and 
intelligence of the pupil. Some Esperantists make the mistake 
of exaggerating the easiness of the language. It may, however, 
be stated with perfect truth that Esperanto is eight or ten times 
easier than any foreign language and that it is possible to learn 
to speak it perfectly without leaving one's own country. That 
in itself is a very appreciable result. 


Practical use of Esperant 

According to the incomplete statistics which we have been 
able to compile, about four million Esperanto text-books have 
been sold throughout the whole world, and there must be 
nearly seven hundred thousand adults who have followed Espe- 
ranto courses. If we include the people who learn Esperanto 
at school, this number must have increased in 1922 by about 
one hundred thousand, and there is reason to suppose that this 
increase will be greater every yea-. 

On the other hand, the war and the universally high death- 
rate must have reduced by about half the number of Esperan- 
tists who were in existence before 1914. It is therefore rather 
difficult to fix even an approximate figure for the Esperanto 
public. It is probable that out of one hundred persons who 
have learnt the language there are not half-a-dozen who are 
members of Esperanto propaganda societies. The total number 
of foreigners who belong to English or French clubs abroad is 
also not very great. In many towns this number is far smaller 
than that of the Esperantists of the local societies which have 
often 150 to 200 active members. Only enthusiasts join, and 
the national Esperantp associations onlv include the propagan- 

The practical use of Esperanto is assisted by the remarkable 
work of the "Universala Esperanto Asocio", the branches of 
which are spread over five parts of the world like a spider's 
web. This organisation has delegates in a thousand towns of 
39 countries. Every year it publishes a year-book with an 
alphabetical list of the towns and the addresses of the represen- 
tatives there. The latter, who more or less act as Esperanto 
consuls, supply any information which may be required, act as 

— 28 — 

intermediaries in negotiations, meet travellers at the stations or 
act as guides in showing them round the district. 

For instance, the delegate of a small town received in a 
month 72 letters in Esperanto coming from 26 different coun- 
tries. He rendered commercial assistance in 22 cases. He 
answered three requests for information in the case of tourists, 
two enquiries as to hotels, four with regard to the cost of living, 
five with regard to public or boarding schools, two with regard 
to interned persons who had disappeared, three on questions of 
law, or voting, and seven on questions of labour and wages. 
He met 18 persons at the station and showed 12 round the 
town. A member of the U.E.A. can, his year-book in hand, 
obtain information with regard to all countries, get into touch 
with people everywhere by correspondence or when travelling. 
If he applies to the representative of the U.E.A. in any town, 
the latter can put him into touch with Esperantists in different 
circles, even if that language is not generally spoken in the 
town. Several cases have been brought to our notice of lectur- 
ers who have gone on tours lecturing in Esperanto, and who 
in many towns have collected audiences of from 100 to 2,000. 

It is clear that if Esperanto were taught in all schools, those 
speaking it would be understood everywhere by the whole 
population, whereas at present only a very small part of the 
public uses it. It must be admitter, however, that even under 
present conditions this language can be of very great service,, 
thanks to its practical organisation and to the fact that it has 
spread to most countries of the world. In almost all towns of 
the world there are people who know Esperanto. A merchant 
in a little town in Sweden, for instance, receiving a letter in 
Esperanto from Brazil or Japan, is more certain of being able 
to get it translated on the spot than if it were written in Portu- 
guese or in Japanese. 

A circular or a pamphlet printed in Esperanto can be circu- 
lated throughout the whole world at very slight expense, 
without the trouble of translating it into 20 or 30 languages 
and of finding agents to distribute it. Almost all international 
exhibitions use Esperanto to advertise in foreign countries 
and find it profitable to print their prospectuses in that lan- 

To our knowledge, this was done in the case of the Exhibi- 
tions at Paris, Lyons, Leipzig, Frankfurt, Basle, Padua, Lisbon, 
Bratislaw, Bordeaux, Breslau, Barcelona, Malmoe, Prague, 
Vienna, Reichenberg, and Helsingfors. For these exhibitions', 
Esperanto was used in correspondence; seven of them estab- 
lished an Esperanto section. 

In 1921, the International Labour Office made a small experi- 
ment. It published in Esperanto three documents on its 

>9 — 

work and organisation and had them distributed by the repre- 
sentatives of the U.E.A. The result was the appearance in the 
daily newspapers of 219 special articles on the International 
Labour Office in 21 different languages, cuttings of which were 
collected by the International Labour Office. Since that time, 
the International Labour Office answers, in Esperanto, letters 
which reach it in that language. It has been encouraged in 
this practice by the adoption of a recommendation brought 
forward at the Third International Labour Conference by 
M. Justin Godart, the French delegate, and Mr. Matsumoto, 
the Japanese Delegate. The Brazilian Government published 
in Esperanto the official documents about its centenary and its 
exhibition. We have had before us catalogues in Esperanto 
from commercial houses of every kind and from every country. 
Esperanto has already attracted the attention of the Chambers 
of Commerce, for those of Paris, Beauvais, Beziers, Calais, Gre- 
noble, Le Creusot, Lyons, Limoges, Macon, Moulins, Saumur, 
St-Omer, Le Treport, Tulle and Tarare (France), Lausanne and 
Locarno (Switzerland), London, Bath, Barnsley, Plymouth 
fEagland), Cracow (Poland), Cluj (Roumania), Briinn, Bud6- 
jovice, Hradec Kralove, Olomouc and Reichenberg (Czechoslo- 
vakia), Barcelona and Huesca (Spain), Dresden, Kouigsberg, 
Leipzig, Nuremberg, Potsdam (Germany), Sofia (Bulgaria), 
Budapest (Hungary), Torino (Italy), Tokio and Yokohama 
i Japan), Los Angeles, New York and Washington (United 
States of America), Rio de Jcneiro (Brazil), the French 
Chamber of Commerce in London, the French Committee of 
the International Chamber of Commerce, the Brazilian Commer- 
cial Association and the Congress of Australian Commercial Tra- 
vellers have taken steps to support Esperanto. There are spe- 
cial associations for the spread of Esperanto in commerce in 
the Argentine, Australia, Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, 
Great Britain, Hungary, Japan, United States of America, Por- 
tugal, Sweden and Switzerland. An international review, 
Komerca Revuo, is published in Esperanto at Zurich. 

Guide-books of almost all the chief towns of the world, and 
illustrated books on Touraine, Bosnia-Herzegovina, x-Ugeria, 
the Oberland and Scotland, etc., have been published in Espe- 
ranto by tourists or local bodies. The important part played by 
the Touring Club, of France in introducing Esperanto into that 
country is well known. On October, 4th, 1921, the Czecho- 
slovak Touring Club adopted it for its foreign propaganda. 
The corresponding organisation in Finland has done the same, 
and the railway administration of that country has used Espe- 
ranto in its time-tables. In Czechoslovakia a circular issued 
by the management of the railways offers certain advantages 
in respect of wages to employees speaking this language. 

International organisations and offices are very specially 

— 30 — 

interested in the spreading of an auxiliary language; Esperanto 
has been adopted or recommended by a number of them 1 . 

In the case of most of these offices, the use of Esperanto is 
still a novelty. On the other hand, there are international 
organisations which are entirely based on Esperanto, and 
which publish their review, their bulletin, or their communi- 
ques in that language alone. These are the Esperanto associa- 
tions of scientists, writers, men of letters, teachers, jurists, doc- 
tors, chemists, railway men, government officials, postmen, 
policemen, internationalist workers, catholics % free-thinkers, 
clergymen, boy scouts, etc. The general assemblies of these 
associations have developed the use of spoken Esperanto in 
technical discussions. Lectures in Esperanto are given at the 
International Universality at Brussels. In 1920, lectures in that 
language by Professor Vanverts, of Lille University, on "The 
treatment of cancer", and by Dr. Corret on "Wireless tele- 
graphy" were attended by large audiences. 

It is strange that since 1905 Esperanto should appear to have 
become almost more a spoken than a written language. Apart 
from the Esperanto universal congresses at Boulogne, Geneva, 
Cambridge, Dresden, Barcelona, Washington, Antwerp, 
Cracow, Berne, The Hague, Prague and Helsingfors, attended 
by a thousand or two thousand persons, every year a whole 
series of international or regional meetings are held which are 
also often attended by a great number of people and in which 
Esperanto is the only language used. 

1 The World Union of International Associations, the International 
Red Cross Committee, the International Pharmaceutical Federation, the 
Young Men's Christian Association (Y.M.C.A.), the International 
Women's Suffrage Alliance, the International Bibliographical Institute, 
the International Federation of Hatters, the Universal Alliance of Dia- 
mond Workers, the International Order of Good Templars Neutral, the 
International Catholic League, the Catholic International League of 
Youth, the International Bureau of Freemasons, the International Peace 
Bureau, the International League of Peace of the White Cross, the 
World Union of Women, the International League for the Protection 
of the Rights of Peoples. Furthermore, the following organisations admit 
the use of this language in their correspondence or their assemblies : 
the International Bureau for the Protection of Aborigines, the Inter- 
national Bureau of the New Schools, the International Bureau of Spiri- 
tism, the International Association of Meeanotherapy, the Postal Inter- 
national, the International Congress on Moral Education, the Interna- 
tional University, the International Popular College, the Women's Inter- 
national League for Peace and Freedom, the International Intermediary 
Institute, the International Labour Office. 

2 The Esperanto paper Espero Katolika re eived the Pope's blessing 
in 1920, and six international catholic congresses were held in Esperanto 
under the patronage of well-known cardinals and bishops. 

— 31 — 

We have witnessed the case of the International Conference 
of Educational Authorities at the Secretariat of the League of 
Nations in which the debates w r ere in Esperanto. We were 
much struck by the ease and rapidity with which delegates from 
all countries expressed their ideas and understood each other; 
moreover, the discussions were not interrupted by translations. 
As many as 32 speakers were heard at the same meeting and 
an amount of work was done in three days which might have 
taken 10 days to accomplish in an ordinary conference using 
several official languages. Of course, the nationality of certain 
delegates is sometimes recognised by their accent, but this is 
not so in the majority of cases, since the pronunciation of Espe- 
ranto, like that of Italian, seems to be much more uniform and 
more easily acquired by all nationalities than that of English 
or of French, for instance. Anyone who came into the room 
without warning would think he was listening to a discussion 
in Portuguese or Roumanian. 

The unanimity and equality produced in such a meeting by 
the use of a common language are very striking. It puts every- 
body on the same footing and allows the delegate from Pekin 
or The Hague to express himself as forcefully as his colleagues 
of Paris or London. Some speakers express themselves with 
great eloquence in Esperanto. This frequent us° of Esperanto 
as a spoken language has not been without an influence on the 
written tongue, which is gradually becoming more flexible. 
The object of an international language is obviously not literary, 
but people of taste should be able to give it elegance and style. 

The library of the Esperantist Central Office in Paris contains 
4,000 volumes, and that of the Universala Esperanto Asocio in 
Geneva 3,200. Since 1920, on an average, a new book in Espe- 
ranto on scientific or other subject appears every other day 
Text-books and dictionaries exist in English, Arabic, Arme 
nian, Czech, Bulgarian, Danish, Esthonian, Finnish, French 
German, Greek, Welsh, Hebrew, Spanish, Dutch, Hungarian 
Icelandic, Italian, Japanese, Georgian, Catalonian, Chinese 
Croat, Latin, Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish, Portuguese, Rouma 
nian, Russian, Ruthenian, Ukrainian, Serbian, Slovakian 
Slovenian, Swedish, Turkish and Visayen (Philippine Islands) 

Technical dictionaries have been published dealing with ana 
tomy, chemistry, mathematics, navigation, -music, photography 
pharmaceutics, philately and ornithology, and also an encyclo 
pedia and a general technical and technological vocabulary. 

The Esperanto Press includes about 100 reviews and perio- 
dicals, monthly, fortnightly or weekly, which deal either with 
special subjects or with the general interests of Esperanto, 
while some are intended to furnish foreigners with information 
regarding the resources and the national life of any particular 

32 — 

A special review for the blind is published in raised braille 
type and would even appear to be the most widespread of all 
newspapers printed in this type, since it is read in all coun- 
tries 1 . 

Most Esperanto periodicals publish advertisement pages 
which show that there exists a certain amount of commercial 
intercourse and exchange of transactions of all kinds carried on 
through this language. There is therefore a living community 
which makes a successful use of a neutral international lan- 
guage in its work, its correspondence, and its travels. This 
result has taken half a century to produce. 

Language is a great force, and the League of Nations has 
every reason to watch with particular interest the progress of 
the Esperanto movement, which, should it become more wide- 
spread, may one day lead to great results from the point of 
view of the moral unity of the world. 

1 The number of blind persons in each nation is comparatively 
small, and publications .in this type are very bulky and expensive to 
produce. The blind in small countries have therefore little to read 
and few means of learning foreign languages. They are taught Espe- 
ranto in the Homes for the Blind in almost all countries and they 
pool their resources in order to secure the advantage of a common 
newspaper and library in Esperanto. They also correspond with differ- 
ent countries and even hold conferences in Esperanto. The Under- 
Secretary-General of the League of Nations was present at an 
international gathering of the blind at Prague, and several of them 
told him how happy they were to have a fresh outlook opened to 
them by the use of Esperanto. 

Annex 1 

Resolutions adopted by the Third Assembly 

at its meeting held on thursday september 2ist, 1922. 

(Adopted on the report of the Fifth Committee.) 

(1). "That the Report of the Secretariat on Esperanto as an 
International Auxiliary Language be adopted, subject to the 
following amendments : 

(a) "That the corrections communicated by the Briti-h Dele- 
gation be made and that Chapter V of the Report be 

(b) "That an annex be added to the report, consisting of the 
whole of the brief and impartial report made by the Paris 
Chamber of Commerce on February 9th, 1921, oi which 
certain passages only have been quoted." 

(c) "That the resolutions adopted b} r the Committee be 
annexed to the report." 

(2). "That questions relating to the teaching of Esperanto be 
referred to the Committee on Intellectual Co-operation, in order 
that that Committee may give his opinion on the various aspects 
of the problem of an international auxiliary language." 

Annexe 2 

selection and advantages op an international 
Auxiliary Language. 

Report submitted by M. Andre Baudet on behalf of the Commer- 
cial Educatioyial Committee, and adopted and converted into 
a Resolution by the Paris Chamber of Commerce at its meet- 
ing of February gth, 192 1. 

The Paris Esperantist Group having referred to the Paris 
Chamber of Commerce a request for the support of our Company 
for the propagation of Esperanto, particularly by instruction 
in this language in our commercial schools, your Bureau 
requested the Educational Committee to consider this question ; 
the present report presents to you a summary of its work, with 
the conclusions reached. 

Advantages and Essential Conditions of an International Lan- 
guage. — A preliminary question must first be put. Is it advi- 
sable to give encouragement to the principle of an international 
language? Your Committee has not hesitated to reply in the 
affirmative. Commercial transactions, discussions of an eco- 
nomic nature in international congresses, negotiations on com- 
mercial treaties and customs conventions would undoubtedly be 
assisted if all nations adopted a standardised language. The 
principle of its expediency being thus recognised, we have only 
to consider the conditions with which such a language must 
comply in order to guard against all the risks of failure which 
may be encountered in taking a step of this importance. 

We consider that these conditions ma}' be summed up under 
two principal headings : 

fi) In the first place it is indispensable that this language 
should not be established to the detriment of the French Ian- 

— 36 - - 

guage, to which we are deeply attached by reason of the 
immortal beauties enshrined in their works by the genius of 
our writers. 

As an essential corollary of this primary condition, we must, 
as ardent advocates of our own native language, respect the 
native languages of other nations, also rich in literary master- 

The universal language must, therefore, not be a national 

The choice of any one national language would arouse strong 
opposition on the part of the other nations, and every impartial 
judge must admit the absolute impossibility of this solution 
of the problem. 

The obvious deduction is, therefore, that the universal lan- 
guage must be an artificial language. It is noteworthy that, 
in 1629,. Descartes had already laid down this principle. 

This language must be regarded as a tool, as a "code" to be 
used as a method of interpretation by the nations. For this 
reason, your Committee attaches great importance to the name 
"auxiliary" with which it would wish the international lan- 
guage to be always qualified, as national languages must not 
be affected in any way. 

(2) This auxiliary language must be clear, easy to learn and 
sufficiently rich in vocabulary to express all shades of human 

Esperanto. — Does the artificial language known as Espe- 
ranto comply with the second category of conditions ? It is 
impossible to reply to this question without profound study of 
the language. A Sub-Committee of five has been entrusted by 
the Education Committee with the task of considering this lan- 
guage thoroughly. This body has not shrunk from the task 
of reading numerous documents upon the value of Esperanto 
and also of learning its grammar. It is only just to add that 
this grammar is so simple that the careful study of a small 
book is sufficient to acquire all the rules perfectly in a few 

The Sub-Committee then got into touch with M. Rollet de 
l'lsle, President of the Paris Esperantist Group, and an enquiry 
was undertaken, the results of which we will endeavour to 
summarise in a few words. 

After an unsatisfactory experiment in Volapuk, the difficult 
vocabulary of which explains its lack of success, a Pole, 
Dr. Zamenhof, an enthusiast for the idea of an international 

— 37 — 

language, was inspired about 1887 to create one upon extremely 
logical ^principles. He gave long study to a comparison of the 
vocabularies of existing languages, and constructed Esperanto, 
taking for each word the root used in the majority of these 
language - 

The result has been that the roots in the words of each Euro- 
pean language are found in Esperanto in the proportion of 
nearly 75 %. 

The grammar consists of 16 rules with no exceptions ; all 
verbs may be conjugated by learning 12 terminations. From 
the point" of view of instruction it is impossible to emphasise 
too much the difference between the simplicity of this language 
and the difficulty experienced by pupils when learning the irre- 
gularities of the English and French verbs and the exceptions 
to all the rules. 

Impressed by the simplicity of the vocabulary and the 
grammar, the Committee still felt some anxiety as to the pro- 

The pronunciation of Esperanto is entirely phonetic, the 
alphabet includes 28 letters, each of which corresponds to one 
sound and one only, and vice-versa ; iS of these letters are iden- 
tical as regards pronunciation with the corresponding letter of 
our alphabet. The tonic accent always rests on the penulti- 
mate syllabe. The question, however, arises whether, in spite 
of the simplicity of this idea, the various nations might not 
pronounce Esperanto in a manner quite incomprehensible to 
the others. Experience has, however, shown that differences in 
accent are so light as to be unnoticeable. M. Rollet de l'lsle 
relates the fallowing incident in this connection : 

In 191 1, at the Antwerp Congress, 800 Esperantists were pre- 
sent, belonging to 42 different nations. The nationality of each 
speaker in Esperanto had to be ascertained, as it was impos- 
sible to recognise it from his speech. 

A final question remains for decision : Does Esperanto permit 
the expression of all the inflections of human thought? 

The Sub-Committee did not wish to deal lightly with this 
delicate problem, and has made the following statement : It 
is universally recognised that the French language is the 
richest in expression and the most precise of all the national 
languages. If, therefore, a French text translated into Espe- 
ranto and re-translated into French is still in no way deformed, 
it may be stated that the auxiliary language has real value 
from this point of view. 

Experiments were made by the Chamber of Commerce on 
December 30th, 1920. 

Three texts were selected by the Sub-Committee in a style 

— 38 — 

so precise that the slightest modification might completely alter 
the meaning. 

They consisted of an arbitration regulation, a power of ad- 
ministration and a certificate of sale of a very exact type. 

They were translated into Esperanto in our presence by two 
Esperantists ; these two were then replaced by two others who 
carried out the reverse operation. 

The new French text, although it did not repeat the exact 
wording of the original text, reproduced its exact meaning in 
such a manner that the double transposition was unanimously 
considered to have made no alteration in the meaning of the 
agreements upon which the experiment had been made. 

The unanimous conclusion of the Sub-Committee was that 
your Rapporteur was able to assure the Education Committee 
that, "as far as it was possible to judge by investigation and 
experiments, Esperanto possessed the qualities of precision, of 
clearness and facility which are required of an international 
auxiliary language". 

The Development of Esperanto. — In view of such resolu- 
tions, the Education Committee could not adopt an entirely 
neutral attitude to this question. 

It considers that the Paris Chamber of Commerce, faithful to 
its traditional devotion to progress, should respond to the appeal 
made for its assistance in the development of an instrument of 
international exchange of such value as that offered by a 
universal conventional language. 

It could not but be impressed by the importance of the move- 
ment, which is gradually gaining support for the Esperanto 
language in all parts of the world. 

The growing number of supporters have met at several 
important congresses. The tenth, convened for that disastrous 
day, August 2nd, 1914, would certainly have proved a finer 
manifestation of the solidarity of mankind than the scourge let 
loose on that same day by a nation now completely vanquished. 

This defeated nation, however, has not failed to avail itself 
of the advantages of making use of the benefits to its commer- 
cial expansion derived from the use of an international lan- 
guage. Great importance should be attached to the fact that a 
number of documents have been issued in Esperanto, inviting 
the buyers of the entire world to the Frankfort Fair of 1920 and 
the Leipzig Fair of 192 1. 

We hasten to add that France has not been backward in 
taking a similar step, and that the Organizing Committee of the 
Paris Fair has just decided to issue invitations in Esperanto 
for the May Fair of 192 1. 

— 39 — 

The terrible experiences of the war would in any case have 
emphasized how important it is that the Allies should be able 
to understand each other at the numerous meetings where 
questions most vital to the future of the nations are discussed 
under great difficulties. 

If the speakers were able to express themselves in a language 
understood by all their colleagues, the delegates would have 
been able to simplify and shorten the discussions, the multiple 
translation of which has too often delayed a solution and pre- 
vented a final conclusion, to the great prejudice of the rights 
to be defended. 

This, it appears, begins now to be realized; in our country, 
the most illustrious names in science, industry and education 
are supporting this movement, which is becoming world-wide. 
It is sufficient for us to quote, among-many others, MM. Appell, 
Archdeacon, D'Arsonval, Aulard, Daniel Berthelot, Prince 
Roland Bonaparte, Esnault-Pelleterie, Farman, Michelin, Colo- 
nel Renard, Charles Richet, Roblin, General Sebert. 

The ingenious nature of the language has even attracted 
certain mathematical minds, some of whom have endeavoured 
to carry the instrument to a further degree of perfection. 

From this was born the offshoot known as "Ido", which gave 
the Education Committee some anxiety. It soon, however, 
became clear that this so-called perfection was only a further 
complication, which has delayed the development of Esperanto 
by causing confusion in the public mind. 

It is, however, only logical to agree that only by the adoption 
of unchangeable rules, such as those of Esperanto, it is possible 
to obtain that uniformity in the language which is essential. 
This language is to some extent like a telegraphic code or a 
system of shorthand. It cannot be called perfect, since it has 
been devised by the human mind, but it may by said emphati- 
cally that, if its use is to be assured, it must be employed in 
its present form. 

However, all these experiments and imitative efforts, and 
even the passionate sentiments they involve, prove to what a 
degree the various nations feel the necessity of a unified lan- 

The movement is at present astir in Japan and Czechoslo- 
vakia. In Asia the desire for such a language represents the 
realization of the necessity to assimilate European civilizations 
while avoiding the domination by any one nation whose lan- 
guage becomes preponderant. 

As we read quite recently in the newspaper, Spain . gives a 
noteworthy example. Saragossa University, which is respon- 
sible for the Government schools in the province of Aragon, has 

— 40 — 

lateiy authorised a course in Esperanto in the Normal School 
under its control. The Chamber of Commerce in the same 
province has also sent a circular to all Spanish Chambers of 
Commerce, drawing their attention to the advantages of Espe- 

The London Chamber of Commerce gives a diploma, and 
since 1916 has held an examination in Esperanto, as in other 

The New York State Chamber of Commerce has, since 1918, 
included Esperanto among the four commercial languages in 
which it holds examinations. 

Finally, many French and foreign Chambers of Commerce 
take an interest in the language, either by making grants of 
money or by organising propaganda tours. 

Conclusion. — The consideration of the whole striking facts 
led the Education Committee to think that the Paris Chamber 
of Commerce could not overlook a movement which may be of 
invaluable aid in international transactions. 

The point of view taken by the Committee in proposing the 
action which it thinks advisable in the questions is mainly a 
commercial one. 

If this action is to produce results, it must be comprehensive 
enough to appeal to our commercial schools. 

The objection may be made that it would be disadvantageous 
to these schools, whose programmes of work are already very 
full, if they were to compel their students to devote a part of 
their time to the study of a language which is not likely to be 
widely used for many years, however universal it may even- 
tually become. 

Our answer is twofold. First, those nations and those 
peoples who are first able to make use of new methods are 
also the first to reap the fruits of these methods. 

Secondly, we have no intention of causing difficulties in the 
education of our pupils. The teaching ability of French head- 
masters is known to everyone, and they will be able to decide 
whether this new subject of education should, at the beginning, 
be optional or not. They will in any case know what amount 
of time, in proportion to the other items on the curriculum, 
should be given to this new subject. It will certainly be very 

It is easy to mould the intellect of youth, and the addition 
of Esperanto to the educational curriculum may develop the 
most brilliant and varied talents. 

— 41 — 

Further, we cannot leave unmentioned an argument in favour 
of the teaching of Esperanto which deserves consideration : the 
value of this language for the study of French. 

Esperanto contains no idioms and necessitates clarity of 
expression. Further, as we have seen, its vocabulary clearly 
shows up the structure of a very large number of French words. 

Esperanto will be a substitute for Latin for most young 
persons who cannot learn the latter language, the study of 
which must unfortunately be restricted to a chosen few; for 
the pupil will be obliged to give attention to the roots of words 
and their derivatives and to pay attention to the comparative 
value of the expressions he uses. 

Obviously, there are certain prejudices to be overcome; some 
will allege that it would be better to wait for others to begin. 

The same kind of thing was said about the telephone and 
about all other innovations; it is, of course, to be feared that 
our endeavours may remain fruitless if only the pupils show, 

It should not be forgotten that we must not be content with 
merely noting progress made and adapting ourselves thereto. 
Our chief duty is to sow the seed and to spread Esperanto 
throughout the world. 

An International Chamber of Commerce has been established 
for the purpose of co-ordinating and diffusing any fruitful ideas 
among the peoples thirsting for the Gospel of Peace. We may 
ask ourselves, then, whether we are justified, should we think 
the use of an auxiliary language desirable, in supposing that 
this body cannot hasten the dissemination in other countries of 
a method of "mutual understanding" which may perhaps put 
an end to misunderstandings and may certainly do much to 
facilitate the world's commercial business. 

On the above grounds, the Committee proposes that the 
Chamber of Commerce take the following decision : 

"Considering that the business of the whole world would be 
greatly facilitated by the use of an auxiliary international lan- 

"And that there would be no question of prejudicing the use 
of national languages and, particularly, of the French language, 
whose literature is intimately bound up with French history 
and is rich in imperishable masterpieces; 

"And that the auxiliary language should rather be 
established as a sort of international language code for purposes 
of interpretation among the nations, and for this reason should 
be able to be acquired with ease and rapidity; 


"And that Esperanto seems to combine, in a methodical man- 
ner, the desirable qualities of clearness and simplicity, as 
regards both pronunciation and grammar, vocabulary and rich- 
ness of expression; 

"The Paris Chamber of Commerce : 

"(i) Decides to introduce the teaching of Esperanto, as 
an optional subject, in its commercial schools ; 

"(2) Recommends that such instruction become general 
in France and abroad, and that the Chambers of Commerce 
in all countries which are anxious to facilitate commercial 
operations should encourage the rapid dissemination of the 
auxiliary international language." 

(Resolution adopted on February gth, 1921.) 

Annexe 3 





Geneva, January iyd, 1922. 

The Second Assembly of the League of Nations decided, on 
September 15th last, to put the question of the teaching of 
Esperanto in schools upon the Agenda of the Third Assembly 
and to request the Secretary-General to prepare in the mean- 
time a complete report, accompanied by the necessary docu- 
ments, on the experiments already made and the actual results 
attained in this respect. 

In order to carry out this work entrusted to the Secretariat 
by the recommendation of the Second Assembly, I have the 
honour to ask if you would be good enough to inform me with 
regard to the public teaching of the auxiliary international 
language Esperanto in your country, by replying as fully as 
possible to the enclosed questionnaire. 

According to the desire expressed by the Second Assembly, 
I have the honour to enclose copies of the report of Committee 
N° 2 of the First Assembly on the question of an International 
Language (Assembly Document 253) and of the Under-Secretary- 
General's report on his official mission to the Thirteenth Uni- 
versal Esperanto Congress which met at Prague in August 192 1 
(A. 72. 1921. XII). 

I have the honour to be, Sir, 

Your obedient servant, 

For the Secretary-General, 


— 44 

Questionnaire with regard to the Teaching op Esperanto 
in Schools 

i. Has any action been taken by national or local authorities 
with regard to Esperanto as an auxiliary international language 
(laws, decrees, subsidies, grants, privileges or any other form 
of recognition) ? 

2. In what schools or institutions is Esperanto taught, and is 
it a compulsory or optional subject? 

What is the number of classes, students and teachers : 

(a) in elementary public schools, 

(b) in secondary public schools, 

(c) in technical or commercial schools, 

(e) in institutions of all kinds (blind asylums, orphanages, 

(d) in universities, 

(h) in evening classes of any kind ? 

(g) in continuation schools, 

(/) in private schools of all grades, 

3. What are the results of Esperanto teaching in these diffe- 
rent schools or institutions ? 

If reports have been issued, you are requested to send 

4. How many lessons have been found necessary tc enable 
the students to acquire a fair knowledge of Esperanto in compa- 
rison with foreign languages? 

Has Esperanto proved helpful in acquring foreign lan- 
guages ? 
What foreingn languages are chiefly taught in State schools? 


Reply of British Government to the Questionnaire 

Offices of the Cabinet, 
2, Whitehall Gardens, S.W.i 

April, 21st, 1922. 

Reference No. 3S/E/3. 

The Acting Secretary to the Cabinet presents his compliments 
to the Secretary-General of the League of Nations and, with 
reference to M. Nitobe's circular letter No. 5, dated January 
23rd last, forwards herewith a copy of a memorandum on the 
teaching of Esperanto in England and Wales, prepared by the 
Board of Education and containing such information as the 
Board possesses on the matters enumerated in the questionnaire 
enclosed in the Under-Secretary-General's letter referred to 

Memorandum on the Teaching of Esperanto 
in England and Wales. 

1. In order that the answer to the first question may be made 
quite clear, it is necessary to point out that in this country the 
central authority, that is, the Board of Education, does not 
prescribe in detail a uniform curriculum to be followed by all 
schools in receipt of State aid. The dut}' of framing and 
controlling the curriculum is vested, subject to the general 
supervision of the Board of Education 5 in the local education 
authorities,, that is, the councils of counties, boroughs and 
urban districts, which are responsible for the maintenance of 
the schools. 

The Board of Education has not, in the exercise of its 
supervisory powers, required the inclusion of Esperanto as part 
of the general course in any kind of school ; but where local 
education authorities have submitted to them well-considered 
proposals for the inclusion of Esperanto in the curriculum of 
a particular school or particular schools — as has, in fact, been 
done on several occasions — they have been ready to approve 

2. The Board would have been unable to furnish a complete 

— 46 — 

reply to the second question from its own records, as the 
latter contain no particulars of those schools and classes which 
are not in receipt of aid from the State. It therefore approach- 
ed the British Esperanto Association, which was kind enough 
to supply it with the following figures. It will be under- 
stood that any discrepancies between the figures given here and 
those contained in Report A attached (for which figures alone 
the Board is responsible) are due to the fact that the latter refer 
only to State-aided schools, and do not include schools and 
classes privately conducted. As stated under "h n below, it is 
these classes which supply the bulk of the Esperanto teaching 
in Great Britain. 

(a) Elementary Schools. England and Wales Scotland 

Number of Schools .... n 2 

» » Classes 28 2 

» » Pupils .... 881 90 

» » Teachers. ... 27 2 


(b) Secondary Schools. 
Number of Schools .... 2 

» » Classes .... 

» » Pupils 43 89 

» » Teachers. ... 2 3 

(c) Technical and Commercial Schools (Day Schools). 

The number of such schools is not large, and, as far as is 
known, Esperanto is not included in the curriculum of any. 

(d) Universities. 

It is understood that small experimental classes were held at 
Manchester University in 1921, but no detailed information is 

(e) Institutions (Asylums, etc.). 
No pupils this year. 

(f) Private Schools of all grades. 

Day schools : England and Wales. Scotland 

Number of Schools .... 1 — 

» » Classes .... 4 

» » Pupils 40 — 

» » Teachers ... 1 -- 

(g) Day Continuation Schools. 


— 47 — 

(h) Evening Sch<. 

Public Evening Schools : England and Wales. Scotland 

iiber of Schools .... 10 — 

» » Classes .... 16 (approx.) — 

•» » Pupils 269 » 

a » Teachers. ... 10 » 

Private Evening Classes. — The bulk of Esperanto teaching 
is given in classes formed by local societies or groups, and not 
under public control. It appears impossible to obtain anything 
more than a rough estimate of these numbers. In England and 
Wales there are 92 such groups affiliated to the British Espe- 
ranto Association. Thirty students would be a fair average 
number of students in each of these groups, and, as some of the 
London groups are very large, another 200 might be added. 
This gives about 3,000 students of classes attached to groups 
in England and Wales. The corresponding figures for Scotland 
are 11 groups and 350 students. 

Particulars of these public elementary school classes which 
have been specially inspected by the Board are contained in 
the attached Report A upon "The Teaching of Esperanto in 
Public Elementary Schools in England", which has been drawn 
up by one of His Majesty's inspectors of schools who has made 
a special study of the subject. The later sections of Report A, 
together with Report B (written independently by another 
of His Majesty's inspectors, equally well qualified to express 
an opinion), are forwarded as likely to be of interest to 
the Secretariat and affording answers to questions (3) and 
(4), together with certain general observations; but they must 
not be taken as necessarily expressing the views of the Board 
of Education. 

As regards the last question under (4), only in exceptional 
circumstances is any language other than English taught in 
public elementary schools. In secondary schools, French, 
Latin, German and Spanish are the languages most commonly 
taught. In technical schools, French, Spanish, German, Ita- 
lian and Russian (in order of popularity, French being by far 
the commonest). 

- 48 


The Teaching of Esperanto in Public Elementary Schools 
in England and Wales 

According to the information at present in the possession of 
the Board, Esperanto is known to be tanght in the following 
schools : 

i. Barry, Romilly Road Boys' School. 

2. Eccles (Patricroft), Green Couneil School. 

3. Huddersfield, Beanmont Street Boys' Council School. 

4. Leigh (Lancashire), Bedford Road Wesleyan School. 

5. Liverpool, Granton Road Boys' Council School. 

6. Worcester, St. Paul's Church of England Boys' 

Schools 2, 5 and 6 have been specially inspected, and it is on 
the results of these special inspections that the notes which 
follow have for the most part been based. School 2 appears to 
be the pioneer, since the subject was introduced here, through 
the enthusiasm of four members of the staff, as long ago as 1916. 

The school is a mixed one, and takes older children only. 
Esperanto is taken, for two periods of forty-five minutes each 
week, by every child in the school. Two of the four original 
Esperantists are no longer members of the staff, but the other 
five teachers have learnt the language, thus making it possible 
for each class to be taught by its own teacher. 

Children from this school have been remarkably successful 
in winning prizes at various Esperanto competitions. 

In School 6, the subject was introduced experimentally in 
1920. The school is situated in a very poor district and it was 
thought that the introduction of Esperanto might be the means 
not only if improvnig the English but of adding a new stimu- 
lus to the work generally. Two half-hour periods a week are 
given to the subject by all the boys in Standards VI and VII, 
and the teaching is entirely in the hands of one teacher, a pro- 
minent member of the local branch of the Esperanto Associatioa. 

School 5 had on its staff the secretary of the local branch of 
the Esperanto Association. It was for this reason that the school 
was selected when, early in 1920, 'it was decided to make tke 

— 49 - 

experiment of teaching the language in one of the Liverpool 
schools. Esperanto is taken by boys in Standards VI and VII, 
who obtain the written consent of their parents. There are 
two classes, each containing from 20 to 30 boys, and both are 
taught by the same teacher. Each oi these Esperanto classes 
represents about half of the class from which the boys are 
selected. No increase of staff, however, has been necessary, 
since the Esperanto lessons take place when the other boys are 
away at manual instruction. The second-year class devotes 
three periods of thirty minutes a week to the subject, and the 
first year two periods of forty minutes. The former distribution 
of time seems to be the more satisfactory. In none of these 
three schools has the introduction of this subject necessitated 
any increase in the staff. 

In each school the "direct method" is followed, that is to say, 
the teacher conducts his lesson and the boys answer questions 
as far as possible in Esperanto. There is a good deal of reading 
and translation into English, free composition is done, espe- 
cially in the form of letters, the grammar teaching is mainly 
incidental, and many interesting devices are employed in order 
to give life to the lessons. Perhaps the most interesting feature 
is the correspondence in Esperanto with children in many parts 
•f the world. In Eccles, the local education authority pays the 
cost of this correspondence. In Liverpool, the present high cost 
of postage has had the effect of considerably reducing its 
\olume, Inspectors visiting these classes have been struck by 
the enthusiasm of teachers and taught. The latter manifestly 
enjoy the sense of power that comes from the rapid mastery of 
a new language. 

There is, however, little evidence to show that this enthu- 
siasm persists after the children leave school. At Eccles, the 
local Esperanto group has died of inanition, the boys from 
the Green Lane School who are Scouts do not compete for the 
Proficiency Badge in Esperanto, and the few Esperanto books 
in the public library repose on the shelves practically unread 

In Liverpool there is an Esperanto class in one of the evening 
schools, but boys cannot join it before the age of 15. The local 
Esperanto group conducts a class of its own, which three of 
the boys have joined, but it is a class intended primarily for 

In considering what place, if any, Esperanto should occupy 
in the curriculum of the elementary school, it may be conve- 
nient to regard it from three points of view : (1) as a vocational 
or utilitarian subject ; (2). as a means of promoting a general 
education ; or (3) more specifically as providing some form of 
linguistic training. 

— 50 — 

(i) The case for a universal language, especially in commer- 
cial intercourse, is so obvious that it need not be laboured. 
Human nature, however, being what it is, it would be rash to 
prophesy the adoption of such a language, and still rasher to 
assign the part to Esperanto. 

Esperanto does, however, appear to be slowly making head- 
way. It has a larger following than Ido, its offspring and rival. 
It is viewed with favour by several international bodies, and 
its growth is likely to be fostered by the present struggle for 
world peace. It is in fairly extensive use in certain parts of 
the world, notably in Germany and Japan, though in England, 
as might be expected, its progress is slow. 

So far as can be ascertained, there are in Liverpool three 
business firms only, and these are not large firms, which make 
use of Esperanto. 

It cannot therefore be said that there is, or is likely to be in 
the near future, such a demand in the commercial world for 
Bsperantists as would justify the introduction of the language 
into the schools on utilitarian grounds-. 

(2) The learning of another language, especially if accompa- 
nied by a study of the life and thought of the people who speak 
it or spoke it, is among the best means of promoting general 

Esperantists claim that their language has a beauty of its 
own, rivalling if not exceeding that of Italian. This may be so, 
but it is equally possible that its aesthetic may be in inverse 
ratio to its commercial value. Its regularity, its logical complete 
ness, its lack of ambiguity, make it easy to learn and suitable 
for the expression of fact. Such qualities may make it less 
suitable for the expression of feeling than a natural language 
with its irregularities and subtle associations. 

The claim that it opens the door to a great literature cannot 
be seriously entertained. No great writer has so far selected 
this as a vehicle for the expression of his thoughts. It is said 
that, by learning Esperanto, one may gain access to transla- 
nons of many famous books from many countries. This might 
veil appeal to a native of some small country whose language is 
not inextensive use. One could hardly expect an English child 
to learn Esperanto in order to read translations of books which, 
if not originally written in English, have almost certainly been 
translated into English. 

It can give no such intimate knowledge of the life and 
thought of a particular people as that people's own language 

m give, but it is a means of cultivating a nodding acquain- 
tance with many peoples. The children im the Worcester 

— 51 — 

School have corresponded with children in 27 foreign countries, 
and the correspondence of the other two schools is little less 
widely distributed. 

This correspondence, it is true, consists for the most part of 
the interchange of personal details and picture postcards, but 
one might expect that it would at the very least serve as a 
valuable incentive to the study of geography. 

There appears to be considerable value in the mental stimulus 
of learning this language, introduced as it is, at a critical stage 
of school life. The teachers have doubtless all the zeal of 
pioneers, and children commonly appreciate novelty, but these 
children show a joyful readiness to display their powers which 
is in strong contrast to the faltering and reluctant efforts of 
children of similar standing who have learnt French. It is 
significant also that two of the headmasters speak of its effect 
in rousing minds of children of less than normal ability. 
A child who in a practical way has begun to enter into 
a language and a method of thought different from his own has 
learnt something. 

(3) It is claimed that Esperanto has peculiar value as a basis 
for the study of English or of foreign languages. 

It was introduced experimentally into the Girls' Secondary 
School at Bishop Auckland, and an attempt was made to assess 
its value as a preparation for French and German. The results 
were inconclusive. The girls who had learnt Esperanto made 
more rapid progress in French than those who had learnt no 
foreign language, but the reverse happened in the case of 
German. This may have been due to the greater resemblance 
of Esperanto to French than to German, or it may have been 
due to differences of ability among the girls. 

In any case, it would be of doubtful advantage to introduce 
Esperanto into the elementary school on the ground that it 
will enable the children to learn other languages. Foreign 
languages are learnt by comparatively few children whose full- 
time education has ceased at the age of fourteen, and nearly 
all the children in the three schools mentioned above are beyond 
the normal age of entry to the secondary school. It is sug- 
gested in some quarters that Esperanto should be begun as 
early as Standard I, but the ease with which the language can 
be acquired makes so early a beginning unnecessary. Nor 
would it be sound policy to teach it an earlier age than 11 or 
12 simply for the sake of the small proportion of children who 
go on to secondary schools. 

As a means of improving the English in elementary scnools, 
its claims deserve serious consideration. Unfortunately, no 

— 52 — 

systematic attempt has been made to ascertain whether children 
who have learnt Esperanto are actually better at English than 
those who have not, and, if so, to what extent and in what 

The teachers say that these children speak better, write 
better composition/ and are better able to fellow the intricacies 
of English grammar. With this statement the inspectors who 
have visited the three schools are in substantial agreement 

In Esperanto there is one letter for each sound and one sound, 
for each letter (additional letters being formed by the use of 
diacritics). None of the sounds is difficult, except possibly 
the final ;' (v). Thus we have something not unlike the phonetic 
systems employed by many teachers of foreign languages and 
some teachers of English. It is not therefore surprising to find 
that children speak Esperanto with more care than they speak 
their own language, perhaps with more care than can be 
accounted for merely by the fact that they are speaking a lan- 
guage which the}^ have not been for years accustomed to mis- 
pronounce. Although this new form of speech training is 
begun somewhat late in life, it does appear to have some effect 
on their use of their own tongue. 

It is said that children who learn Esperanto improve in 
English composition, that is to say they express themselves 
with greater precision and perspicuity. There is no reason to 
doubt the truth of this statement, difficult as it is of scientific 

The same claim is made for Latin, and may be made for other 
languages in a greater or less degree. The greater the exact- 
ness of a language, the greater may be its value to those with 
an inexact language like our own. 

Precision of statement implies a precise knowledge of the 
individual work. In learning Esperanto, a child comes in 
contact with a large number of roots, most of them found in 
English as well, and sees how, from these roots, new words can 
be built. He will thus probably increase and certainly improve 
his vocabulary and may acquire the beginnings of a scholarly 
appreciation of words. 

Finally, this language is grammar incarnate. It has few 
rules, and these rules have no exceptions. Every noun ends in 
o, every adjective in a, and each tense of the verb has its own 
termination. The parsing of such a language is akin to the 
"colour parsing" which appeals so strongly to young children, 
and its study might well help to direct the explorer through 
the shoals and quicksands of English grammar. 

It has, indeed, been suggested that it would be worth while 
to study Esperanto as a dead language, merely as a means of 

— 53 — 

learning grammar, but to do this would be to deprive it of 
what appears to be its chief attraction to young children : the 
ease with which it can be acquired as a means of oral expres- 

On the whole, then, it would appear that Esperanto has little 
commercial value at present, a fair amount of culture value, 
of which full use has not yet been made, and very considerable 
value as a means of improving English. It appeals to children, 
even to dull children, and it can be acquired in two years by 
a child of average ability sufficiently for practical purpo- 

In certain circumstances, it might maintain a claim to become 
the second language of the elementary school, but until its 
employment in ordinary life is more general it is neither desi- 
rable nor to be expected that it should be taught in many 
schools. The lack of enthusiastic and properly qualified tea- 
chers of this subject would alone be a sufficient obstacle. It 
is said, for instance, that in Liverpool there are not more than 
three or four such teachers. 

There appears to be ample justification for allowing the pre- 
sent experiments to go on, and even for encouraging other expe- 
riments in the large towns, and especially in the large seaport 

Results of Esperanto Teaching. 

This question, it is assumed, does not relate to the value of 
the subject, but to the efficiency or otherwise of the teaching 
We may quite safely say that, taken as a whole, the teaching 
of Esperanto is below the average of the teaching of other sub- 
jects ; the spread of Esperanto is checked very much by the 
lack of expert trained teachers. The generalisation made is one 
that has often been put to Esperanto officials, and with whick 
they have expressed their concurrence. 

Number of Lessons required. 

In a report, intended for more or less general application, on 
the teaching of Esperanto in a public elementary school in liver- 
pool recently, the inspector said that the boys of 12 to 14 years of 

— 54 — 

age who hab been under instruction for ik hour a week for 
14 months had already acquired a fair grip of the language ; 
their vocabulary of ordinary words was reasonably extensive, 
and they could form sentences in Esperanto with due regard to 
construction and grammar. He also said that the knowledge 
acquired was equivalent to such a knowledge of French as 
would enable a tourist to "find his way about" in France. By 
the end of the two-year course he estimated that the boys would 
have had all the definite instruction they would need in order 
to be able to read such Esperanto books and carry on such Espe- 
ranto conversation as would be appropriate to their years. 

Adult students are generally proficient, if they are fairly 
intelligent, after a year's formal study that is to say, by that 
time they have reached a stage at which definite lessons 
are better replaced by informal reading and practice in conver- 
sation. A good working knowledge of the language may be 
obtained in a few weeks by well-educated persons with some 
previous knowledge of other foreign languages. 

Has Esperanto proved helpful in acquiring Foreign Languages? 

Yes, Esperanto is easy to learn, and consequently the student 
soon reaches a stage at which he can put his knowledge into 
use, i. e., a stage at which the study becomes interesting. This 
is not the case with the study of a natural foreign language. 
The first foreign language to be learnt is the most difficult, 
because each helps the study of the one which follows. 
Hence it would seem, and experience supports the view, that 
a knowledge of Esperanto is a direct help towards the study, on 
the part of persons without great linguistic ability, of natural 

From an educational point Of view, the best way of regarding 
Esperanto is not on account of its direct usefulness — which, of 
course, must be small until most people have learnt it — but 
because it is "language" in general, i.e., a generalised grammar 
and vocabulary. 

Annexe 4 


addressed to the League of Nations by the International Confe- 
rence on the Teaching of Esperanto in Schools, held at the 
League of Nations, Geneva, April iSth to 20th, 1922. 

We, educationists from 28 countries and official representatives 
of 16 Governments, assembled im Conference at the League 
of Nations in Geneva, affirm our belief that at the root of the 
present deplorable condition into which the civilised world 
has fallen is the misunderstanding and mistrust which divide 
the peoples from one another. 

We affirm our belief that the only certain remedy for this 
evil is education and the principle of international approxima- 
tion for which the League of Nations stands. 

We welcome as one of the most valuable contributions to the 
solution of the problem of the reconstrucion of the world the 
international auxiliary language Esperanto, and express our 
conviction that it should be made part of the educational pro- 
gramme of every civilised country. 

We desire to make known to the League of Nations the 
results of our experience in teaching Esperanto in schools in 
different parts of the world. 

We find that Esperanto is entirely adequate for practical use 
as an international language for all the purposes in speech and 
writing for which a language is required ; and that, moreover, 
it possesses remarkable qualities which establish its value as 
an educational instrument. 

It is valuable as an aid to the correct use of the mother-tongue, 
shown by improvement in pronunciation and enunciation, better 
choice of words and knowledge of their meaning, improvement 
in spelling, and knowledge «f the principles of grammar. 

It is valuable as a stepping-stone to other languages, modern 
and classical, lightening the task and saving the time of the 

— 56 — 

teacher in explaining grammatical forms, providing familiar 
roots, and bringing to the task of expression a mind already- 
accustomed to express itself in more than one language. 

In our opinion, children should be taught Esperanto as the 
first language after the mother-tongue in the elementary school. 
This would provide those pupils who must leave at the earliest 
possible moment with a complete knowledge of a second lan- 
guage which they can use for practical purposes ; it would 
demonstrate whether those who proceed to the secondary school 
have an aptitude for further language studies, and would send 
those forward who have such aptitude with minds prepared, and 
thus effect an economy of time and better results in those stu- 
dies; and those pupils who have no aptitude for languages 
could be diverted to more congenial studies. 

It is our experience that a knowledge of Esperanto has devel- 
oped in our pupils a more real knowledge and appreciation of 
geography, world history and moral education, and a greater 
and more sympathetic interest in foreign peoples in their cus- 
toms, literature, and art, and also in the peace of the world, 
and the League of Nations. This has been chiefly aided by the 
interchange of correspondence, illustrated postcards, and draw- 
ings with children in other lands ; the reading of international 
gazettes in Esperanto and the study of the literature of various 
countries in the language. Pupils are able to engage in corres- 
pondence after a few month's study of Esperanto. The advan- 
tage of this correspondence is that it is not confined to any one 
country, it being a common experience for the pupils in a single 
school to have correspondents in many countries. 

With two lessons <per week of one hour each, the pupils should 
be able to obtain a sufficient mastery of the language in one 
year, such as is not possible in any other language under similar 
circumstances under three years. 

We submit this Memorial to the earnest consideration of the 
League of Nations and cordially recommend it to encourage 
the teaching of Esperanto, not only because of its utility ua 
commerce, science, and other international activities, but also 
because of its value as a stimulus to that friendly relationship 
between the peoples of the world which is the true aim of the 
League of Nations. 

Recommendation proposed to the League of Nations by the 
International Conference on the Teaching of Esperanto in 

The International Conference on the Teaching of Esperanto in 
Schools, which met at the Secretariat of the League of Nations 
from April iSth - 20th, 1922, having examined the experiments 
made and the results obtained in this subject, submits, for the 
favourable consideration of the League of Nations, the following 
recommendation, which would meet the desire of the school 
authorities represented at the Conference: — 

"In view of the linguistic difficulties which hinder direct 
relations between nations, and the urgent necessity of 
remedying them in order to facilitate good understanding be- 
tween nations ; 

"In view of the considerable extent to which Esperanto has 
spread and developed, and the interesting results obtained from 
the teaching of this auxiliary language in the public schools of 
several States in which its educational value has been recog- 
nised : 

"The League of Nations recommends that this teaching 
should be made general in the public schools of the whole world 
as a practical and popular means of international intercourse in 
no way calculated to prejudice the age-long prestige of civilised 
national languages. 

"The League of Nations invites its Members to inform it of 
any measures which they may decide to take on this subject, 
either by legislation or by administrative decrees, in order that 
the Secretariat may inform them in turn how far these meas- 
ttres are reciprocal and universal." 

International Agreement on Esperanto in Schools proposed by 
the Geneva Conference. 

"The signatory States, acknowledging the importance of 
spreading the universal use of an auxiliary language in order 
to facilitate international communications, agree gradually to 
introduce the teaching of Esperanto into their State schools 
and to inform the League of Nations of the steps which they 
decide to take to that effect, either by law or by decree. 

"The present agreement will become applicable only when 
it has been signed by ten States, five of which at least should 
be European States." 






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